CHAMPAIGN — Steve Kouri was nervous.
Palm-sweating, anxiety-ridden, biting-your-fingernails-type nervous.
After 77 years, the Illinois aerial academy boys’ basketball accompaniment clash had confused abroad from Champaign.
Away from the Accumulation Hall, the state’s best acclaimed basketball venue, and its precursor, Huff Hall.
Away from memories fabricated by players like Quinn Buckner. Anthony Smedley. Ben Wilson. Marcus Liberty. Bruce Douglas. Kevin Garnett. Johnny Orr. Marty Simmons. And abounding more.
Away from memories of coaches who roamed the sidelines like Vergil Fletcher. Steve Goers. Sonny Cox. Bob Hambric. Gordie Kerkman. Gene Pingatore. Ron Felling. Jerry Leggett. Bennie Lewis. And abounding more.
To Carver Arena. City Peoria.
Goodbye all-inclusive spaces of parking lots with farmland nearby.
Hello adjacent parking garages with the Illinois River in the background.
Gone were the 16,000-plus seats in a bowl-like ambience begin at the Accumulation Hall. In were 11,100 seats at Carver Arena, neatly laid out in two levels on Bradley’s home court.
When Wayne McClain and his Peoria Manual band exhausted Harvey Thornton 65-53 in the Chic AA accompaniment championship d on March 18, 1995, it apparent the end of a celebrated break in Champaign.
When Sean Taylor and his Shelbyville aggregation angled off the aboriginal d of the Chic A accompaniment
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